The incredibly famous exercise routine, crossfit, first appeared as a result of the combination of the terms “cross” and “fit”. This discipline has a number of key features.
Crossfit is a system of functional high-intensity classes which includes elements of the following sports:
- Kettlebell lifting
Crossfit was invented by the creator in order to enhance agility, endurance and strength, and aimed at preparing the body for emergency situations. Gradually, it turned into a brand that popularizes fitness classes and allows you to involve the maximum number of people in it. The popularity and commercial success of crossfit is explained by the fact that it combines the most effective exercises from different sports disciplines.
If we compare high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with crossfit, we can find a number of fundamental differences.
The first difference lies in the purpose of the exercises. In the case of HIIT, it is as follows:
- Ensures that the body receives the maximum amount of oxygen
- Improves strength performance
The goal of crossfit is to develop functional qualities in order to promote further application in everyday life.
The second difference is the foundation of each training. In the case of interval classes, there are a series of loads with different intensities: starting with high and ending with low intensity exercises.
Crossfit, on the other hand, is characterized by the principle of competition. It consists in improving your current physical state relative to the previous training. In addition to competing with yourself, there is competition between athletes in crossfit. Therefore, all elements in this discipline should be performed by adhering to the highest pace, doing the maximum number of repetitions and having the least amount of breaks.
The third difference is manifested in the equipment used and the exercises performed. Interval training includes the following components:
- Cardio exercises. These are running, jump rope and other dynamic exercises.
- Power loads. The person uses their own weight as well as small weights in the form of balls, dumbbells and kettlebells.
In crossfit, strength and cardio training is complemented by gymnastics. When performing exercises, the following devices are used:
The power load is created due to the elements of weightlifting and powerlifting. During their execution, the maximum load is used.
Advantages and disadvantages
The advantages of crossfit are expressed in the following:
- Training the heart and blood vessels
- Improving flexibility and coordination of body movements
- Enhancing general endurance and well-being
- Boosting metabolism
- Improving the ability to feel and control your body
- Variety of activities due to a combination of different amounts of loads
- Opportunities to train using simple devices (jump ropes, horizontal bars, kettlebells, barbells and running in-place)
Group crossfit classes have another advantage — healthy competition and excitement. They enable you to maintain interest in training and getting the maximum benefit from it.
According to the crossfit system, you need to train at a high pace. Thanks to this, fat cells burn quickly. Therefore, this type of activity is suitable for those who want to lose weight.
Increasing muscle mass when doing crossfit requires more time than losing weight. A prerequisite for muscle building in this case is proper nutrition.
Crossfit also has disadvantages.
The first is a significant load on the cardiovascular system resulting from regular intensive training. Not everyone is able to withstand it. To avoid provoking health problems, you should definitely get medical advice before training.
The second disadvantage is expressed in the injury risk in this sports discipline. To protect yourself from serious injuries during high-intensity classes, it’s necessary to pay close attention to compliance with safety regulations.
Group training is considered particarly risky. In the heat of competition, athletes try to beat out competitors during training- in response, they often forget about safety measures and their own health.
The third disadvantage is the presence of technically complex exercises in crossfit: you can’t perform exercises correctly without the supervision of a professional trainer. For example, the independent performance of weightlifting snatches without appropriate experience and training will definitely result in a serious injury.
One of the main features of crossfit is the lack of a clear specialization of exercises. On the one hand, this is a plus, expressed in the ability to perform several sports techniques at once and exhaustively develop the physical aspects of the body.
On the other hand, this feature can be characterized as a disadvantage. Due to the lack of a clear focus of classes, it’s impossible to achieve outstanding results.
Despite the numerous benefits, crossfit can be unsafe for health. The danger arises in the presence of the following health issues:
- Pathologies of blood vessels, heart and respiratory system
- Injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system
- Pathologies of the nervous system
- Infectious and other diseases occurring in an acute form
- Mental pathologies
- Diseases of the bile, urinary tract, kidneys and liver
- Disorders of the gastrointestinal tract
Also, a contraindication to crossfit is the period of carrying and breastfeeding a child.
Components of crossfit
A standard crossfit class features short-term complexes that consist of exercises for the development of various sports skills.
There are different variations of performing such complexes:
- Execution of the whole complex against the clock
- Performing the maximum number of turns or circles in the allotted time interval
- Performing the complex without taking into account time, with breaks between exercises
Standard complexes within the framework of crossfit are called women’s names. For example, the Helen variant is represented by three exercises:
- Running at a distance of 400 m
- Swinging with a weight — 21 times
- Pull-ups on the crossbar — 12 times
These exercises should be performed in a circle without any pauses. In total, you need to complete 3 circuits.
The crossfit training program is structured so that there are no repetitive trainings for 7 to even 30 days. Such an approach enables you to adapt your body to the changing load and diversify the training process.
Like any workout, a crossfit class should start with a warm-up stage. It can be a warming up of the joints or light running. The key goal of the warm-up stage is to prepare the body for the main set of exercises.
A simple workout option without taking into account time can consist of three different types of exercises:
As soon as the listed exercises in the specified number and sequence are done without interruption, one circuit or round is considered completed. In just one workout, you should perform from 3 to 6 circuits.
As you master this complex, you can move on to more complicated options:
- 4 laps of 4 exercises (20 leg lifts for the abs, 30 push-ups, 40 squats, running 400 meters or jumping rope for 30 seconds)
- 5 laps of 5 exercises (10 squats with a 50 kg barbell, 10 chest presses, 10 barbell pull-ups, 10 push-ups and 30 seconds of jumping rope).
When forming a set of classes, it’s important to avoid putting consecutive exercises that will work out the same muscle groups. It’s recommended to combine exercises according to the following principle:
- Pushing. These include standing and lying barbell presses, push-ups and bars.
- Pulling. It can be any type of deadlifts or pull-ups.
- Legs. Jumps, lunges and squats.
- Cardio. Jumping rope, cycling exercises and running.
Thanks to this approach, the muscle groups will receive the load alternatingly. This way you’ll be able to avoid overexertion.